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Day 1: London – San Jose
On arrival into San Jose, you’ll be met and transferred to Hotel Buena Vista where you will spend 1 night. Set within 2.5 acres of tropical gardens with beautiful views of the volcanoes, Buena Vista is the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica within 15 minutes of the airport! With just thirty rooms, on site nature trails, a great restaurant and fantastic staff you can be assured of a lovely start to your holiday.Welcome to Costa Rica!
Day 2: San Jose to Tortuguero
This morning you’ll be met and transferred by road & boat to the bio-diverse Tortuguero National Park where you will spend 2 nights at Mawamba Lodge. This tropical lodge is nestled on a sand strip between Tortuguero Canals and Caribbean Ocean offering cosy rustic accommodation that blends perfectly with the surroundings of the jungle. Later today you’ll enjoy a guided group tour to the charming village of Tortuguero where you’ll learn all about the local life, art and culture. If you’d prefer to miss Tortuguero and spend more time elsewhere – we can tailor a Costa Rica holiday to you. Call us on 01273 923100.
Day 3: Tortuguero
Full day to explore the Tortuguero area. Enjoy a complimentary Tortuguero canal boat tour. Venture with your guide inside the canals and absorb the incredible fauna and flora with more than 350 bird species, monkeys, caimans and crocodiles, sloths, toucans and more. You can also join a complimentary Mawamba park and guided walk learning about the sustainable projects in this area including a visit to Butterfly and Frog gardens.
Days 4: Tortuguero to the Arenal area
This morning you will be met and collected for your shared road & boat transfer where you’ll collect your hire car. You will then begin your road trip and drive approx. 2.5 hours to Arenal where you will spend 3 nights at Finca Luna Nueva. A biodynamic farm growing organic foods, Luna Nueva also protects large tracts of primary rainforest and a vast garden of medicinal plants in a remarkable conservation project. With spectacular views, excellent staff, organic food and wildlife all around, the owner Steven will ensure you truly enjoy the natural richness of this beautiful place. Don’t want to drive? Ask us to arrange transfers – call 01273 923100 to tailor this holiday to you.
Day 5: Arenal area
Today you’ll enjoy a half day Sky Tram and Sky Trek tour. Head up to the top of the Arenal reserve by Sky Tram for views across the rainforest, volcano and lake. Later you’ll start your Sky Trek adrenaline adventure through the treetops across a system of zip wires –enjoy the adrenaline rush and the views as you skim across the tops of the trees! If you’d prefer less adrenaline and more wildlife, we can arrange a Sloth Tour, Rainforest Night Walk, a Volcano Hike and much more – contact us for more information on 01273 923100.
Day 6: Finca Luna Nueva
You’ll head on the Farm Tour this morning at Luna Nueva. You will not only see but taste, from season to season, many of the foods and spices that are grown at Luna Nueva. If you’re open to taste-bud challenges, try nibbling on galangal and kafir lime, or you can sample the spices of Indian cuisine such as ginger, turmeric, holy basil, cardamom, and black pepper. There are also over 90 species of tropical fruit trees, and every day offers up different exotic fruits to sample on the tour. Finca Luna Nueva has a number of on-site tours including a guided hike, a chocolate tour and garden tour that you can book on arrival.
Day 7: Arenal to Portrero
Today you will drive approx. 4 hours to the coast where you will be staying for 4 nights at Sugar Beach with breakfast included. Sugar Beach is a secluded, ultra-comfortable hotel with a shimmering infinity pool and thin, curving beach. The friendly staff and outstanding service keep this property ahead of the pack. The owners have gone to great lengths to protect the surrounding environment, and you might spot monkeys, iguanas, tree sloths and more on the 25 acres of protected dry topical forest. Want more time on the beach? We can tailor this holiday to you. Call 01273 923100.
Day 8-10: The Beach
Three full days on the beach. Sugar Beach is an excellent secluded location to enjoy the gorgeous Playa Pan de Azúcar and it will often feel like the hotel’s own private beach. The beach is ideal for swimming and boogie boarding. Or if you want to explore further you could ask the hotel to arrange for you to head out catamaran sailing, zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, surfing, scuba diving, sport-fishing amongst others. Approx. a 30 minute walk round to the next bay is a water sports centre that rents paddleboards, kayaks and mountain bikes. If you want to relax, you could take a complimentary yoga class (offered by request most mornings and afternoons) or book a massage.
Day 11: Potrero to the Cloud Forest
Today you will drive 5 hours to the Cloud Forest where you will be staying at Villa Blanca for 2 nights with breakfast included. Villa Blanca is the ideal retreat for nature lovers. Poised on a hillside, the resort is situated on a 75-acre surrounded by tropical jungle and gorgeous mountain views. Villa Blanca is the only hotel located within a private cloud forest reserve including a working research station. Want to break up the drive? There are some lovely places that you can stop at en-route. Call us on 01273 923100 to talk through the options.
Day 12: Cloud Forest
You will have a full day to enjoy the surrounding area. The Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. Adjacent to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, this misty private park offers a section of cloud forest rarely visited by tourists. The result is a serene, secluded reserve where hikers spot more wild animals than they do in other areas. The reserve is a haven for butterflies, hummingbirds, and exotic moths, as well as many other species of animal. If you would like to stretch your legs, you can go for a gentle walk around the many personalised trails that surround the hotel. Or alternatively, you can arrange a guided tour or visit Villa Blanca’s José Miguel Alfaro Research Station!
Day 13: Cloud Forest to the UK
After a leisurely morning you will drive approx. 1.5 hours back to San Jose airport where you’ll drop your hire car and fly back to the UK.
Day 14: Home
Welcome home…how many photos!
This Characterful Costa Rica Self-Drive Holiday costs from £2,468pp and includes – international flights (price based on London),12 days car hire, all accommodation on a sharing basis, shared and private transfers on land and by boat to Tortuguero, English speaking local guides, tours and entrance fees (as outlined above), ATOL protection.
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“I find that when travelling, I take on so many more challenges and do things I would never normally do, it makes me a bolder and braver person. I love making memories I will always treasure”
“I love the freedom that travel brings, learning about the area, spending time with local people and exploring completely new places.”
“Going away feeds my soul, I love finding places that make me want to stop for a moment and breathe it all in. It’s about creating memories that stand out in my mind, an escape from routine.”
“I love to travel so I can turn my imagination into reality, instead of thinking about how places might be, I want to see them as they truly are.”
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